Every now and then, we come across indigenous work that puts a smile on our faces and shows promise for the future of architecture in Nigeria. What has us smiling today, is a corporate office project from a young innovative firm in-country, Urban & Contemporary Architects (UCA). From their work you can tell that they are passionate, vibrant and open-minded designers poised to be amongst the leading practices on the African continent within a short time.
So, the project. Described as a “Corporate Campus”, UCA developed a design scheme for a construction company client in Delta State, comprising a corporate office, accommodation quarters and a construction yard. Covering over 15 000sq m, the scheme was crafted by carrying out a good amount of analysis to develop a strong concept and resultantly strong architecture.
SITE LAYOUT SKETCH ( I wonder how many ‘modern-day’ architects still have the ability to sketch by hand)
In their fulfilling of the client brief, they “steered beyond the boundaries of function, aesthetics and stability – the basic qualities of ‘good architecture’; and into more transposable, immeasurable factors such as transparency, staff motivation, mutual trust”
The idea was to focus on a more ‘human approach’ to design in a bid to evoke positive emotions from the end users as well as visitors and ‘passers-by’. As seen from the sketches above, location of each structure, as well as orientation and shape, fenestrations, facade treatment, and material selection have largely been dictated by the nature of the site (sun path, wind directions etc).
APPROACH OF CORPORATE OFFICE BLOCK
CLUB HOUSE AND OFFICE BLOCK
OFFICE BLOCK PERSPECTIVE
APPROACH VIEW OF ACCOMMODATION QUARTERS
‘INSIDE’ THE CLUB HOUSE
The outcome is a refreshingly attractive yet functional scheme that balances user requirements and aesthetic appeal quite effectively, to deliver very contemporary architecture that is not at all a staple part of the skyline in the Niger Delta. Bravo UCA, Bravo!